11 Apr 5 Reasons to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist
You tell yourself this time will be different. You’ll make the dentist appointment, go to the office, and have your teeth cleaned or that wisdom tooth removed. Instead of hiding your smile, you’ll be proud of it. Instead of dealing with that nagging pain, you’ll get it fixed.
But then the anxiety hits, complete with sweaty palms, lost breath, racing heart, and you can’t do it. Another appointment gets canceled.
Fear of the dentist and dental procedures are very real. Working with a qualified dentist you can get help dealing with your fears and overcome them. There are several reasons why that’s exactly what you should do.
Experience Better Dental Health
When your fear prevents you from seeing a dentist or having an important procedure done, your dental health suffers. Broken or cracked teeth, plaque build-up, impacted wisdom teeth, unchecked gum disease — all of these are very real risks you face when you don’t see a dentist on a regular schedule. Talk to your dentist about your fears and find out what your options are to help you deal with them.
Enjoy Improved Overall Health
Dental health and your overall health are intertwined. Many early signs of diseases and illnesses can be seen in your teeth and gums. When you visit the dentist on a regular basis, they’ll catch symptoms and signs you might not notice. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease are all tied to your dental health. Sometimes what’s going on in your mouth shows symptoms of other health issues, and sometimes what happens in your mouth impacts your overall health. The two are inextricably linked.
Teach Your Kids Not to Be Scared
Dental anxiety isn’t passed down genetically to our children, although some mental illness which can contribute to dental anxiety might be genetic. But when your children figure out that you’re scared of the dentist, they may become afraid, too. We all want better for our children than ourselves. Showing your kids that the dentist isn’t a scary place — or doesn’t have to be — will help them grow up to see going to the dentist as another form of routine medical care.
Have a Nicer Smile
There’s nothing wrong with a little vanity. Our smiles are usually the first thing people notice about us. When you don’t go to the dentist — ever or in years — your smile suffers. Adding insult to injury, people with dental anxiety may also develop self-esteem problems because of their teeth. Have a smile you can be proud of by working with a dentist to deal with your fears. Your family, friends, and co-workers might not notice the change in your teeth, but they will definitely notice your bright smile
Gain More Confidence
Overcoming your dental anxieties and fears gives you more confidence in two ways. First, you’ll prove to yourself that you can handle these fears instead of letting them handle you. It’s an empowering feeling to know that you’ve gained control over something that used to terrify you. Second, having a nicer smile (see above) can also improve your confidence and self-esteem. You won’t be as self-conscious about your mouth. Improved self-esteem might lead you to apply for that promotion, say hi to someone you want to meet, and take on new challenges.
Overcoming Your Fears
Most patients can’t just “get over” their dental fears. It’s not that simple. But you can work with a dentist who is willing to help you. They should listen to your concerns, answer questions, and work with your fears and anxieties as much as possible.
Your dentist should also be able to offer help through some kind of dental sedation whether that’s nitrous oxide or an oral sedative, depending on what is best for you. Talk to your dentist about your options for sedation dentistry and be honest about what scares you most. A compassionate dentist will work with you to overcome your anxieties, worries, and fears.
Right now, it might feel like you’re stuck and will never be able to go to the dentist. Your dental fears and anxieties are real, but you have more options than you realize. The most important thing is to find a caring, understanding dentist who will work with you. Once you find the right person, you’ll be that much closer to overcoming your fears and reaping the benefits of regular dental care.